The Victorian Government is reducing waste, boosting the use of recyclable and recoverable materials, curbing carbon emissions and preventing habitat destruction.
These policy settings mean Victoria is better placed than ever to build a sustainable future and help meet our commitment for electricity used in government operations to be 100% renewable by 2025.
These policy settings mean we’re better placed than ever to build a sustainable future.
The Victorian Government sought Social Procurement Framework commitments through its supply chain to support environmental and sustainable outcomes.
From 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, the following Social Procurement Framework commitments were included within 119 contracts with suppliers reported to the Victorian Management Centre, of which:
- 16 contained clauses relating to recycled content in construction works
- 13 contained clauses relating to the minimisation of greenhouse gas emissions
- 18 contained clauses relating to sustainable resources and waste and pollution management practices
- 27 contained clauses relating to Environmentally Sustainable business practices
- 6 contained clauses relating to procurement of outputs that are resilient against the affects of climate change.
(Note: As the Victorian Management Centre was fully implemented in April 2021, some contracts are still in delivery, and will not have outcomes to report on for this period. The achievements detailed may include achievements recorded against specific commitments as well as achievements outside of commitments.)
Major road and rail projects provide many recycling and sustainability opportunities. In cooperation with our delivery partners, we have used the following over the life of these major projects:
Sustainability requirements on major projects
Our large projects also include significant sustainability requirements, which cover both the delivery of the project and, where appropriate, the ongoing operation of the infrastructure. These requirements include:
- energy efficient lighting at construction sites and site facilities
- use of high efficiency diesel generators
- use of green power and carbon offsets
- energy efficient lighting and hot water systems
- use of solar panels where possible
- waste management practices to maximise diversion from landfill
- regenerative drives on escalators which enable the capture, storage and reuse of otherwise wasted braking energy.
Case study - Protecting the Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos of Glenelg Plain
This cockatoo feeds only on the fruit of the Brown and Desert Stringybark in the Glenelg Hopkins region. If affected by hot fires that scorch the tree canopy, these trees can take up to a decade to recover, severely reducing their ability to produce food for the cockatoos.
Reintroducing cultural cool burns into the cockatoos' habitat supports Aboriginal cultural practices, protects the species' food resources and reduces bushfire risk.
DELWP’s Forest Fire division and Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation worked together to identify potential burn sites.
Glenelg Hopkins CMA conducted vegetation monitoring on vegetation and fuel composition and the impacts on the birds' food resources.
Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation staff burnt 16 hectares of heathland and Stringybark woodland in July 2020 alongside DELWP Forest Fire crew.
The burn was low-intensity, patchy, and did not scorch the Stringybark canopy.
Ecological monitoring was undertaken by Glenelg Hopkins CMA, which provided training on ecological survey methods to young Gunditj Mirring rangers, who are continuing to assist with data collection.
This will help to determine whether traditional methods of fire management could result in a more ecologically sensitive outcome – and hopefully ensure adequate habitat and food supply can be maintained for this endangered species.
This cooperative cultural burning activity between DELWP Forest Fire Management, Gunditj Mirring and Glenelg Hopkins CMA is part of a broader, interstate Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo recovery project supported by Glenelg Hopkins CMA with funding through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
Case study - Green collect - a world without waste
They focus on removing excess waste out of landfill and keeping items in circulation through re-use, local remanufacturing, and recycling - finding environmental outcomes for redundant office items including stationery, media, IT equipment, electronics, and furniture.
Green Collect achieves a 60 per cent re-use rate for their clients, plus a 35 per cent remanufacture or recycling outcome, diverting 95 per cent of what they collect from landfill.
In addition, the enterprise provides employment for people who face additional barriers to work, achieving significant social impact.
Thanks to opportunities to work in the Victorian Government’s supply chain, Green Collect has been able to work at a larger scale to deliver high-quality waste minimisation and circular economy services.
The Social Procurement Framework has really changed the way we engage with our clients on this journey towards a more just and sustainable society. The conversation about social impact and environmental impact is front and centre. It’s no longer just a by-product of something that we also achieve, it’s actually of genuine interest and value to our clients.
Case study - Using recycled plastics on the Mordialloc Freeway project
From the outset, the project took an ambitious approach to encourage suppliers to come up with innovative solutions. For example, when the company providing plastic noise walls offered a 30 per cent recycled product, the project team asked if they could do better.
The result is about 10 kilometres or 32,000 square metres of noise wall made from 75 per cent recycled plastic, with about half coming from products from kerbside collection and half from soft plastics.
This equates to 570 tonnes of recyclable plastic that might otherwise have gone to landfill.
The freeway works also incorporated an innovative product called eMesh, which replaces conventional steel mesh used to reinforce concrete.
eMesh is a fibre created from 100 per cent recycled plastic. Around 17 tonnes of eMesh will be used to build the shared walking and cycling path alongside of the freeway, as well as in some traffic islands.
Using eMesh reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with the project by 58 per cent compared to using steel mesh. It’s also quicker to install and increases the lifespan of the concrete it reinforces.
Together, these are great examples of how government procurement is driving better environmental outcomes.
Short story - State purchase contract print supplier achieving measurable carbon savings
have been set up to combine a demand for commonly used goods and services. This enables government to make the most of economies of scale when buying from the marketplace and allows for a strong purchasing position to negotiate better value and terms and conditions.
The Finsbury Green Star Rating System is independently audited and validated by current environmental science sourced from the Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, National Greenhouse Accounts Factors 2017, and the National Carbon Offset Standard V3.
The rating has been reviewed by an independent panel of industry experts and science professionals and provides an open and transparent environmental rating, as well as highlighting areas where suppliers can improve their environmental practices through a combination of technology and education.
It allows government purchasers to choose a supplier based on price and performance, along with environmental practices fundamental to reducing carbon and achieving measurable CO2 savings.
Short story - Department of Justice and Community Safety environmental sustainability projects
These include mandating that construction projects divert 80 per cent of demolition and construction waste from landfill as part of minimum standards. There are eight projects under construction, three completed and 21 either in the planning or design stages.
In addition, the use of recycled aggregate in construction has reduced consumption of Portland cement by 30–40 per cent, and more than 10,000 kilolitres of stormwater have been captured at major construction projects and used for dust suppression and to clean out drains prior to commissioning.
- Solar panels on the department’s buildings have produced 4.2 million megajoules of power, saving more than 1200 tonnes of CO2.
- The move to remote working during the coronavirus pandemic has also reduced paper use across the department by 58 per cent.
- All DJCS construction projects must divert at least 80% of demolition and construction waste from landfill.
- Use of recycled aggregate reduced use of Portland cement by 30–40%.
- More than 10,000 kilolitres of site stormwater captured and reused for dust suppression and drain cleaning at construction sites.
- A 58% reduction in paper usage across the department due to remote working.
- The production of 4.2 million MJ of power from the department’s solar panels within the reporting period, saving over 1200 tonnes of CO2.
Did you know?
Recycled First is a Victorian Government policy requiring:
- bidders on all road and rail construction infrastructure projects to demonstrate how they will optimise their use of recycled and reused materials
- contractors report on the types and volumes of recycled and reused products they used
Reviewed 05 October 2022